NTPS graduate Gerard Guillaumaud made the first flight of the Grob Aerspace G180 SPn Utility Jet on 20 July 2005.

NTPS graduate Gerard Guillaumaud made the first flight of the Grob Aerspace G180 SPn Utility Jet on 20 July 2005. Gerard graduated from the NTPS TB-2 Course in 1999. The TB-2 Course was a nine week course tailored to meet the requirements of the German LBA for a civil test pilot license. The course has evolved and today is a 15 week Light Aircraft Flight Test Course that incorporates the same performance and flying qualities academics that is given to Professional Course students.

The Grob Utility Jet flew 24 sorties in the first six weeks accomplishing significant initial envelope expansion. JAA certification as a single pilot, nine passenger aircraft is targeted for the first quarter of 2007. The aircraft will have a maximum weight balanced field length of 3,000 ft and is capable of 1,800 nm range with full fuel.

Al Lawless, former instructor at NTPS while Gerard was a student, joined Grob before the first flight as the Chief of Flight Test. Al also previously worked at Cessna Aircraft as a flight test engineer.

Photo by Thomas Skamljic. Thomas is also a graduate of the NTPS TB-2 Course (2001) as well as a former student of Al Lawless. See more high resolution images of the Grob G180 here.

  • Lt Col Cho, Republic of Korea Air Force, a 1995 graduate of the National Test Pilot School, assumed command of the 281st Test & Evaluation Squadron in December 2004.  Prior to becoming the test squadron commander, Lt Col Cho was a test pilot for the T/A-50 and KT/KO-1 programs.  Lt Col Cho also flew the first flight of the T-50 Golden Eagle in August 2002.
     
  • Wing Commander Steven Young, Royal Australian Air Force, a 1995 graduate of the National Test Pilot School, has assumed command of the Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU), RAAF Base Edinburgh, Adelaide, Australia.  In addition to being the Commanding Officer, Steve is also the Chief of Flight Test of the only unit in the RAAF dedicated to flight testing.

  • Kevin Bredenbeck, a 1996 graduate of the National Test Pilot School, has been named as Director of Flight Operations and Chief Pilot of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.  He is responsible for Sikorsky’s flight office and oversight of all flight operations activities.

  • Andrew Stewart, a 1998 graduate of the National Test Pilot School, retired in June from AETE in Canada where he was the Operations Officer.  He has accepted a position at General Dynamics Canada as the Maritime Helicopter Program Qualification Team Lead.  His duties will include Combined Test Force Lead for the combined Sikorsky/GD Canada/DND team. 

  • Ronen Shapira, a 2003 graduate of the National Test Pilot School, has been named Chief Test Pilot by Israeli Aircraft Industries.   Ronen will be piloting the Gulfstream G150 which is a new executive jet during its first flight on May 18, 2005

The NTPS “loads” Impala (S/N 155TP) was recently upgraded to include structural dynamic exciter motors.

The motors were installed in support of the Structural Loads and Flutter module (T&E 4205).  With their addition, the school is now able to show students the dynamic response of the aircraft while in flight, and allows them to compare model estimates, with ground vibration tests (GVT), and in-flight responses.

Impala 155 was modified by installing two electrically driven motors – one on each wing.  Each motor drives an asymmetric weight which generates load pulses at set frequencies.  The motors are controlled from the rear seat of the Impala which allows the flight tester to sweep through a range of frequencies and to dwell on frequencies of interest.

After the Impala was modified, PACS Engineering conducted a complete GVT which identified and characterized six structural response modes.  The aircraft was then flown by the schools staff to clear a safe envelope and to survey the GVT modes while in flight.

The excitation system performed flawlessly and the modes were demonstrated.  This new capability will be added to the course curriculum in May.

The National Test Pilot School has selected a common digital instrumentation system for the majority of the aircraft used at the school.

Pi Research, a British company, has been providing instrumentation systems for race car drivers for years.  Pi's desire to expand into the aircraft instrumentation business and the school's need for an affordable, user-friendly instrumentation system have coalesced into a common instrumentation system being implemented at the school.  Capable of up to 36 parameters at 100 Hz, the instrumentation system has been incorporated into several aircraft.  Currently the system is fully operational in the SW-3 Merlin, the B-76 Duchess, one MB-326 Impala, one OH-58 and the UH-1N.  Near term plans include expansion to the C-47TP Turbo Dakota, the SK-35 Draken and an additional Impala.  Eventually, all school aircraft that use any instrumentation are slated to have the Pi System as a common platform.  The data from the system is stored on a flash card and is uploaded postflight onto the school's intranet.  This allows students, within minutes of landing, to start manipulating the data on computers at their desk.  Data from the Pi files can be easily parsed and exported to Excel spreadsheets, greatly reducing the menial part of post flight data analysis at the school.  The parameters available now include control forces, delflections, alpha, beta, rates in all axes, airspeed, altitude, and load factor.  Future enhancements include adding GPS data as a common parameter to all installations. 

 

Contact Info

National Test Pilot School
P.O. Box 658
Mojave, CA 93502-0658 USA
Phone: +1 (661) 824-2977
Fax: +1 (661) 824-2943

Twitter
Facebook
Youtube
Linkedin
RSS